Hook up my Tivo, Cable Box, VCR, TV thru an rf modulator

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Reilly's Dad
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Hook up my Tivo, Cable Box, VCR, TV thru an rf modulator

I recently got a Tivo and I've had a heck of a time hooking it up. I went out and bought an RCA RF Modulator to run everything through, and I can't figure out how to do it! It has 2 RF hookups (RF Out and Ant In) and the Motorola Cable Box just has the Cable In and RF In. Apparently, the cable isn't getting connected properly through the Tivo. It's driving me crazy and I just want to throw it at the wall. Someone please help!

Matt Whitlock
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Ideally, you shouldn't need

Ideally, you shouldn't need the RF modulator, but it really depends on the age of your TV, and the number of available inputs.

Here's a few things to keep in mind:

-You need to get the picture and sound from the cable box to the TiVo.

-You need to get the TiVo connected to the TV.

-If you want the option of moving shows TiVo recorded to VHS tape, then you need to get the picture and sound from the TiVo to the VCR.

-The VCR needs to be connected to the TV.

-If you want to record basic cable to the VCR, then you need the cable connected to the VCR

Those are the genral connection overviews. The next thing to understand is that many devices have inputs and outputs. It's imperitive to keep track of these as you connect things together. You also need to realize that you're going to have to use line level connections to make this easily work. Many people try to stick with RF as much as possible, but this not only makes it impossible to connect multiple devices together, it also degrades audio and video performance.

Not knowing what connections your TV makes it difficult to give specific directions, but I'm assuming your TV has at least 1 RF input, and at least 1 A/V (yellow, red, and white) input.

Connect the cable from your wall to a 2-way splitter. This brings you to 2 different paths, we'll return back for the other path in a little while.

Path #1 - The VCR Path

Connect the coax line from the splitter to the RF IN on the VCR. Connect the RF out on the VCR to the RF IN on the back of the television.

This will allow you to record basic cable channels on your VCR, as well as provide basic cable to your TV for viewing if your cable box is busy feeding the TiVo.

Path #2 - The TiVo

Connect the other coax line from the splitter to the Cable IN jack on the back of the cable box.

If your cable box provides line level (s-video/yellow, red, white) connections, either the yellow or S-video, and the red white audio outputs to an input on the back of the TiVo. If these outputs are not available on the cable box, then connect the RF out on the cable box (often labeled "To TV", to the rf input on the TiVo.

Connect the A/V (yellow, red, white) outputs on the TiVo to an appropiate input on the television.

If you wish to record from the TiVo to the VCR, connect the secondary A/V output to the A/V input on the VCR.

Plug the IR blaster to the TiVo, and position the IR eye above the IR receiver on your cable box. It is often postioned near the LCD behind a semi-transparent window.

To view your TiVo, switch to your TV's auxilliary input. Your VCR will appear on either channel 3 or 4 when powered on.

Make sure you go through your TiVo's setup wizard to tell it what device you plugged in, and what input on the TiVo you connected it to.

Good luck, let us know if you have additional questions.

cathy
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So, I'm hooked up and almost

So, I'm hooked up and almost all looks good. However, when I'm switched over to my Tivo it stays on the blue screen that says "can't display live TV". I go back to check the video settings and it says no connection. If I change the channel on the cable box I get a momentary "video ok" before it goes back to no connection. Does this sound like a problem with my cable signal?

Matt Whitlock
Matt Whitlock's picture
Double check the TiVo setup,

Double check the TiVo setup, and make sure you've selected the A/V input as your incoming source. You may also want to double check the connection between the cable box and the TiVo. The yellow/red/white cable should be connected to the "out" on the cable box, and the "in" on the TiVo.

Another possibility is something on the cable box. For example, if it's an HD model, you may need to adjust a resolution setting or activate the rear A/V input before it will work. It really depends on the make and model of the box.

cathy
cathy's picture
So, it turns out after all

So, it turns out after all this that my setups were fine; my cable box had burned out! However, your suggested setup was much simpler than how I had it. Thanks!

Matt Whitlock
Matt Whitlock's picture
So, it turns out after all

So, it turns out after all this that my setups were fine; my cable box had burned out!

Well, I don't think any of us could have seen that one coming! I'm glad you're back up and running again. Make sure you tell your friends and family about the TechLore Community, and don't forget to keep an eye out for questions that you may know the answer to.

jordanl
jordanl's picture
I am having a similiar

I am having a similiar problem with my TIVO, and I hope that I can explain this somewhat well, as I am not very technically inclined. I have my cable, out of the wall, split, one set running to the cable box and the other running into the tivo. Then from the tivo, i have the red, white, and yellow cords running back into the cable box. I know this may sound confusing but, I want to be able to record a show on tivo and still have the ability to watch another show. To make a really long story short, I dont' have enough places in the back of my cable box to place the cords from the tivo in to the box. I was wondering if there is some type of splitter that can make the red, white, and yellow, from just one set of input, into two sets of input.

 

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